06/03/2019 | Return to Latest News

Doing cool things all day at work just isn’t enough for some people. C-CORE employees are also very active in the community, applying their skills to help solve a variety of challenges. From March 1st through March 3rd, C-CORE’s Jeremy Hetzel, Gerard Noseworthy and Abis Abbas were involved in the Hacking Health St. John’s annual hackathon.

Hacking Health St. John’s fosters a growing health-technology sector in the province. Regular meetups welcome anyone who wants to solve real problems on the front lines of healthcare, including engineers, software developers, healthcare professionals, researchers, students, policy makers, legal experts, business developers, entrepreneurs, and patients. For more about Hacking Health St. John’s, follow these links:

https://hacking-health.org/;   https://bounceinnovation.ca

Jeremy Hetzel co-leads Hacking Health St. John’s along with along with Faculty of Medicine’s Dr. Andrew J. J. Smith, the Provincial Department of Health’s Michael Bannister, and Bounce Health Innovation’s Habin Haridas, Harris Barki, Andrew M. L. Smith and Mandy Woodland.

For this year’s hackathon, Gerard Noseworthy and Abis Abbas teamed up with Blaine Edwards from the Provincial Department of Health to form Team Pharmafind. Pharmafind recycles expired pharmaceuticals, extracting active ingredients for later use in industrial applications, and removing harmful chemicals from the environment. The team hacked together a working pill sorting prototype that uses convoluted neural networks to classify and sort pills with a simple webcam. Their solution impressed the judges, who included Ocean Supercluster CEO Kendra MacDonald and Memorial University Medicine Faculty (and C-CORE alumnus) Andrew Smith. Team Pharmafind took home first place, a $3,000 purse and access to the Genesis Centre’s Evolution Program for startups.

The hackathon was very well subscribed, with community leaders pitching in with other participants. Eastern Health VP and CTO Ron Johnson was part of a competitive team, while Eastern Health CEO Dave Diamond and Provincial Health Minister Dr. John Haggie floated between teams, mentoring and helping with the hacking. Diamond and Haggie also each gave addresses throughout the weekend to help encourage participants. Congratulations, Gerard and Abis! And well done, Jeremy! Your colleagues at C-CORE are very proud of you.